Row Britannia aimed to raise funds to further enable the extraordinary work of our mental health charities who deliver vital support to students & young people.
Our intent was to match our £1.5m UK-wide student Sport Relief fundraising target to support our collaboration of mental health charities.
To raise funds for our partner mental health charities who support students and young people, we challenged University Chairs, Vice-Chancellors and College Principals to work together and invite and encourage local, regional and national corporations, businesses & philanthropists to pledge funds.
COVID-19 restrictions led to the closure of all universities and colleges. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have engaged with our partners and have been overwhelmed by their support and encouragement to continue our work. All our efforts are now concentrated on delivering the BRIT 2021 Challenge.
“We all have mental health and sometimes our mental health needs support. Universities across the country are increasingly focusing on how we can engage with and support more effectively our staff and student communities. We do this in partnership with many other organisations and people. Row Britannia is an inspirational opportunity for our communities to come together to raise awareness, have fun and raise money for the Charities who help us to improve mental health. We want all universities across the UK to come together with Colleges and Schools they partner with to ROW for Mental Health. The idea is complete a 2020mile row as university and college teams and to raise vital funds as we go.
I’m asking for every university to raise money through sponsorship and match what staff and students raise. I encourage every university to work closely with their local colleges as we can join forces to raise our targets. Together we can make a difference. Pledging to ROW Britannia to change a life and save a life”.
Professor Steven West CBE DL
Vice-Chancellor & President UWE Bristol and Chair of Universities UK Mental Health in Higher Education Working Group
MULTI-CHARITY STRATEGY - A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH
Through a collaborative approach led by The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), we partnered mental health charities who support students & young adults through existing vital and proactive health, wellbeing and mental fitness programmes and services.
FUNDRAISING STRATEGY &
We partnered with Education Governing Bodies to help us engage with universities and colleges as they are all in unique positions to tackle the challenge of mental health head on and help all their students and staff thrive and realise their full potential. This is why we challenged every Chair of University Committees, Vice-Chancellor and College Principal to invite and encourage local, regional and national businesses, corporations and philanthropists to pledge funds to our mental health Charity partners.
CHAMPIONING OUR MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY PARTNERS
The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), through the Row Britannia Challenge, championed our partner mental health charities and the support available to students and young people in order to reduce loneliness, isolation, depression, mental health difficulties or suicidal thoughts. We promoted their programmes, education, support mechanisms and work.
We know Mental Health affects relationships, wellbeing and determines how students learn, and their productivity. It can make them feel that they have little to offer other people and erode self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.
It is recognised that transitions increase vulnerability to mental health difficulties.
Many who experience depression, anxiety and mental health difficulties can isolate themselves from friends and family, and mental health can be particularly isolating for people with disabilities.
Despite the surge in the numbers of students asking for support, it is likely that there are many others in clinical need who are not seeking treatment because of stigma or problems with access to care.
The wider crisis in young adult mental health is reflected in our universities with students dropping out with mental health problems and, tragically, an increase in student suicides.
First-year students in UK universities reported that they had a mental health problem.
Increase in demand for counselling services at higher education institutes.
Increase in university dropouts amoung students with mental health problems from 2009/10 to 2014/15
There were 95 student suicides in 2016-17
THE IMPACT OF YOUR SUPPORT
The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), through Row Britannia, provided a unique opportunity to fund and support a collaboration of mental health charities who deliver vital support to students and young people. They agreed to work towards a strategy that compliments the support mechanisms, services and training resources that each charity provides.
With the support from all our partners to secure donations from corporations and businesses support, we hoped to help avoid the long-term risks associated with poor mental health, at a critical point in young people's lives, which can have far-reaching consequences for the next generation.
By ensuring student mental health is treated as a societal concern, we hope to encourage early intervention and action.
Pledges to support our partner mental health charities would save lives and have an extraordinarily positive impact on the health of students and young people throughout the UK.
PLEASE CONTACT US TO SUPPORT OUR NEXT CHALLENGE
SUPPORTING OUR CHARITIES
These statistics were provided by Universities UK in 2019.